MaxLite recently filed petitions for inter partes review (IPR) before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It is seeking to invalidate U.S. Patent Nos. 9,897,265 (‘265 patent) and 9,723,662 (‘662 patent), which are owned by Jiaxing Super Lighting Electric Appliance Co., Ltd (Jiaxing Super Lighting), a Chinese contract manufacturer based in the city of Jiaxing, located in the Zhejiang province.
Jiaxing’s products that are being petitioned include the company’s recently-announced patent licensing program for LED tube lamps. According to the petitions, these patents should never have been issued in light of prior art known at the time the applications leading to the ‘265 and ‘662 patents were filed.
“Throughout our 26-year history, MaxLite has vigorously fought to protect the intellectual property rights of ourselves and others,” said Spencer Bolgard, president and CEO of MaxLite, in the press release. “Patent licensing programs and lawsuits based on invalid patents and baseless claims undermine the core purposes of the patent system, and we will aggressively challenge and seek to invalidate such patents. MaxLite stands behind its products, and we will not allow our company, our distributors or our customers to be harassed by groundless assertions. We will continue to zealously assert our rights and pursue whatever legal steps are necessary to do so.”
The ‘265 patent is generally directed to an older-style LED tube lamp design with three common components: LEDs disposed on a light strip, circuitry to power the LEDs and older-style structures for mounting the light strip and circuitry within the tube. The ‘662 patent is generally directed to certain aspects of a retrofit LED tube lamp, including a particular type of LED power source module for use with certain types of legacy fluorescent light ballasts. MaxLite’s IPR petitions demonstrate that the arrangement of the mechanical and electrical components within an LED tube lamp described in the ‘265 and ‘662 patents were well known at the time Super Lighting’s applications for those patents were filed, and therefore should never have been issued by the USPTO in the first place.
“We are not going to be bullied by Jiaxing Super Lighting into signing up for, and legitimizing, their patent license program,” said MaxLite General Counsel Zvi Raskin. “We continue to work on additional IPR grounds to invalidate other patent claims on which Super Lighting’s patent license program is based.”
MaxLite is represented in this matter by Radulescu LLP.